New Technology Revives Biofuels
(Alpha Galileo) Started three years ago, EQUIMOTOR PLUS, an R&D project financed through the EUREKA initiative, benefited from the brains of some of the brightest researchers in the four corners of Europe. Together, technicians from Spain, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom worked together to overcome one of the main technological obstacles to an economy based on green energies.
Biofuel, in spite of controversies surrounding it, still holds many advantages, on an economical, as much as on an environmental level– it is derived from plants, which naturally absorb CO2, making it a much cleaner and widely available source of energy than, say, oil sands. But there’s a hitch: biofuels contain a high amount of water and oxygen, which have a corrosive effect on engines. Hybrid car fuels such as the E10, a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, fast became unpopular in parts of Europe and consumers trust in this source of energy is not good. Around 70 % of German motorists, reveals a poll recently published), have been steering clear of bioethanol because of a suspicion that it could damage car engines.
…The challenge was to redesign engines so that they could adapt to non-conventional fuels, , by rethinking each component’s finishing, rather than modifying their traditional structure. ‘The result is not only a new breed of engines adapted to biofuels, the engines themselves are less noisy and longer lasting,’ says project leader Dr Amaya Igartua, a senior scientist at Tekniker-IK4, a research institute in Spain’s Basque country. READ MORE